Many economic experts claim that we have navigated through the worst of an economic recession – the likes of which we haven’t seen since 1929. They could be right or they could be wrong. Either way, it seemed safe to assume that, at some point, the economy in this country would rebound.
An unexpected twist to all of this is the emergence of the “new consumer.” No, this isn’t a person who will be making purchases for the first time. More than likely, this will be a seasoned shopper who will have retired the credit cards for some time and is now finally ready to dust them off.
This consumer will be wary and more economical with their purchasing for sure, but what else will be different? Some studies say that this “new consumer” is going to be more open to trying new brands or products. However, most of these studies stuggle to explain why. What about a recession would make someone abandon their sense of brand loyalty? This kind of thinking suggests that consumers, in some way, blame retailers for their economic woes.
To say that the emergence of the economy from a recession will bring with it a consumer looking to start fresh over-simplifies things a bit. After all, why would a brief period of economic turmoil generate the desire to find new favorites? Did times get so tough that you no longer want to eat Cheerios? Do you think of yourself as more of a Corn Flakes eater now?
If a consumer chooses to explore other options with regards to their favorite brands, it will not be because the recession “opened their eyes” and made them “see the light.” It will be because of a new product benefit, a lower price, or a healthier alternative – just like it was before the economic downturn.